Although actress Athena Karkanis planned to attend law school upon graduating from McGill 10 years ago, she decided instead to give acting a shot. And the Toronto-raised Greek beauty hasn’t looked back since.
“Acting was something that I always liked, but I never really thought of it as a career choice,” she says.
After being accepted into the renowned Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York, she says everything “just sort of clicked. In that moment, I thought ‘okay, this is it. This is what I’m doing.’”
Following a few years of studying and working in New York, Karkanis returned to her hometown of Toronto, where she’s since starred in numerous roles on stage, TV and film. She says her most recent on-screen role, that of Agent Khalida Massi on CBC’s hit TV drama The Border, has been “really cool and really fun.”
An avid cyclist, Karkanis, who lives in the heart of Toronto, was hesitant to buy a car, but needed access to one on occasion. So she and her boyfriend joined AutoShare Toronto, a car sharing service.
“You can book a minivan if you need to move big stuff, but if you want a fun little car to zip across the city for a dinner date, you can book a Mini,” she explains, adding she doesn’t feel as badly about her carbon footprint because “you’re using the car less that you would if you owned it.”
“It’s a co-op, so you become a member, pay a monthly fee and then an hourly rate for use,” explains Karkanis. “The hourly rate includes insurance and gas. It’s really convenient”
It’s so convenient for city dwellers, in fact, that one of Karkanis’ friends, a fellow actor, sold his car and joined AutoShare. “He uses it all the time, and it’s still cheaper than owning a car,” she says.
Upon wrapping The Border’s third season in October, Karkanis starred onstage in the Toronto production of That Face, alongside Sonja Smitts.
“Theatre was my first love,” says the versatile actress, who speaks multiple languages (French, Spanish, Italian, German). In fact, she reveals she would love to one day work in European film. “I would like to work in other languages,” she says.
Considering she already speaks five languages, it seems very possible that her acting career will take her far beyond our borders.
– Heather Buchan is a Toronto-based journalist whohas worked at Homemakers,Canadian Living, Canadian House & Homeand, most recently,Hello! Canada, where she cut her teeth in the world of celebrities.